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What to do with old cams

Original Post
Kabir T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Ola,

I was recently given a box of gear with some cams that seem to be pretty old (pics below).  I havent been climbing trad long enough to know how old they are. I personally wouldnt fall on them even if reslung. I feel bad just throwing them out but dont really know what else to do with them. If i wanted to donate them what sort of organization would be interested (based in PNW)?

​Any help appreciated!

cheers,

k

Thomas Claiborne · · SD · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 36

I will use them. Theres nothing wrong with the cams.

alpinejason · · Minneapolis · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 176

I'd be interested. 

Tony Sartin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 235

I just PM’d you.

Tristan Bradford · · Oklahoma City, OK · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 1,410

Dont sell them. resling the whole lot for about 60$ and bam you have a set of cams. they look hardly used!

K Weber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15

U-Stem camalots should be retired.

There have been recalls, old JR design is not that good, bare wire is not/should not be slung, thinner lobes

Cpn Dunsel · · Salting The Earth Beneath Y… · Joined Jan 2003 · Points: 135
This post violated Guideline #1 and has been removed.
Clint Cummins · · Palo Alto, CA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,223

Aluminum and steel without serious rust/oxidation does not get weak over 10, 20, 30, 40 years.
They are fine.  And the slings look better than on most of my cams.
They will not break in falls, same as new cams.
Friends like that have held thousands of falls over the years....

You can sell them for around $25 each on ebay if you prefer to climb with newer gear.

EFS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 120
K Weber wrote: U-Stem camalots should be retired.

There have been recalls, old JR design is not that good, bare wire is not/should not be slung, thinner lobes

ive got a set (1 thru 4) of first gen bd cams i bought somewhere around the early 90s. ive used them up to as recently as a few years ago, and have taken numerous falls on probably all 4 of them over the years, and never had a crack in the heads. they are still in great shape aside from rack wear mostly on the anodizing (i never even knew of the problem with them until not long ago)


id still use them without thinking twice.
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,931

They look better than what's on my rack ATM.

Cherokee Nunes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

I recommend you keep them; don't sell, throw away or trade. If you don't need to use them now, just keep them in the box. If you ever trad you'll need a 2nd set at some point and well, there's your 2nd set. Even if you don't want to lead with them they're great for fixing anchors, hauling, top roping. Keep them till you're old, then pass them on to some other climber. That's my recommendation.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Kabir T wrote: I havent been climbing trad long enough to know how old they are. I personally wouldnt fall on them even if reslung.
Why? You're probably willing to fall on a 40 yr old bolt.
Absolutely nothing wrong with the technical Friends, the TCU, and the rigid stem Friends if you resling them (and frankly the slings look almost pristine). Maybe a little bit of a weight penalty compared to modern cams, but certainly usable.

As others mentioned, the other cams should probably be retired.
csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330

Sell em and buy some newer cams. I have owned all that gear. At some point and selling them was one of the better things I’ve done. I waited a long time thinking I’d need them some day, and never did. I did resling some of them and it was a waste of $.

Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,284

A perfect begining rack.  Many people still use all those same pices, with tons more wear. That gear looks new, almost un-used, like the nuts: perfect, un-placed?!  
As for the nylon slings; They do not need to be replaced, They look like new, replaced before stored. Nylon stored properly loses very little elasticity & almost no strength
The "U"-cable" BD Camalot JR have limitations, The regular "Skinny Lobe"=Crush-cams'... the lobes deform. need to be clipped to old school 'biners, never slung ...yadyda but can be bomb-proof in pairs or "nests" of gear. Good tools Specific flex friends have broken both @ the swage & axle. Still - can be used ... all sorts of solid uses. and good to learn with.

If Tony S isn't buying I might....

Kabir T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Really appreciate all the responses! Ill get to the PMs but, for context, I did want to add that I already have triples BDs 0.3-3 and a set of aliens so may be limited use from that perspective.

k

csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 330
Kabir T wrote: Really appreciate all the responses! Ill get to the PMs but, for context, I did want to add that I already have triples BDs 0.3-3 and a set of aliens so may be limited use from that perspective.

k

Ha, in that case definitely sell them unless maybe you plan on frequent IC trips.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Kabir T wrote: Really appreciate all the responses! Ill get to the PMs but, for context, I did want to add that I already have triples BDs 0.3-3 and a set of aliens so may be limited use from that perspective.
If you ever go to Indian Creek, you'll need all the cams you can scrounge (eg: routes where the rack is 8 #2 and 3 #3 cams) and I can think of routes in Yosemite that can benefit from multiples of one size.
Max Supertramp · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 65
MP free gear thread.  you'll feel better than if you threw them away, and you can for sure find a party willing to take the whole mess of 'em in one shot, saving you too much box and ship work.  

I'd call dibs but I'm kinda late to the party.
Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 2,284

I made it clear If Tony Isn't Buying ...... I Am
Supertramp? do you want anything?

Max Supertramp · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 65

I am pretty flush with my own old stuff but the solo aid ground-up new router in me is interested in whatever odds or ends I can get.  :-)

Former Climber · · PA · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 2
  1. EFS wrote:

ive got a set (1 thru 4) of first gen bd cams i bought somewhere around the early 90s. ive used them up to as recently as a few years ago, and have taken numerous falls on probably all 4 of them over the years, and never had a crack in the heads. they are still in great shape aside from rack wear mostly on the anodizing (i never even knew of the problem with them until not long ago)


id still use them without thinking twice.

Step 1: place U stem Camalot in test fixture at 60% expansion.

Step 2:  apply load.

Step 3:  watch the axles go U shaped and the cam slide from the crack well below rating.

I’ve done this with 4 or 5 of them.  Issue is the cutouts on the lobe to allow assembly and corresponding necking down of the axles.  

Brought it up to BD a decade ago, and they refused to issue a recall, saying only that they were an old design and should be replaced.  

They should be retired.

Edit: seems I still have one of the samples.  Was scary watching it ooze out of the fixture at low load as the axles bent.  Wire loop got cut so I could count the strands.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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